Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Wine Cellar Inspirations: What Position Should You Store Your Wines?

November 6th, 2019

If you’re the observant wine lover, you’d surely notice that wine bottles are not always stored in similar positions. You’ll see bottles being stored on the side in residential or commercial wine cellars. But you’ve most likely also seen them stored in an upright position. You usually see this being done in wine establishments, liquor stores, or your local grocery. Also, you’ve mostly likely heard or read that wine should always be stored on its side. That brings us to this question: what position should you actually store your wine bottles? Would it make a big difference if you’re storing it on its side or in an upright position? Let’s find out!

What position should you store your wine bottles in?

The big mistake you should never make…

Here’s the deal about storing your wine bottles in an upright position: it is a big mistake that will ruin your wines, especially if you’re trying to age them. The upright position is actually considered one of the top wine bottle storage mistakes. Why is this so? For one thing, the wine will not keep the cork wet in this position. That means the cork will eventually dry out. This is like a death mark for your wine. The dry cork will allow excess air inside and completely destroy the wine’s taste. You will find out – in the most awful way – that your wine will taste like vinegar. Nothing can be more devastating than that. Try to imagine that happening to your most expensive and/or rarest labels!

It’s always essential to remember that wine shares a fickle friendship with oxygen. Oxygen reacts with the chemicals in wine resulting in changes to the flavor compounds. This is why oxygen is indispensable to the aging process. However, this very same oxygen also reacts with the alcohol in wine to form acetic acid. We know this as “vinegar” in layman’s terms.  Store wine bottles on their side to achieve peak taste!Too much oxygen in your wine is highly detrimental to it. The same can be said when your wine bottles get too little or no oxygen. So how do you regulate the amount of oxygen that comes in contact with the wine? The age-old solution is, of course, the use of a cork. Natural corks, in particular,  can expand and contract as the environment changes.  When you store your wine bottle in an upright position, it keeps the cork high and dry and away from the wine.  The cork will dry out and eventually shrink, leaving gaps. These gaps will allow air to enter the bottle and let oxygen react with the wine.

Storing the wine bottle on its side keeps the liquid keeps the cork moist.  The cork stays the same size and will even expand if a warmer environment causes the wine bottle to expand. The bottle is sealed tight 24/7 and only the necessary amounts of oxygen are able to circulate inside. The air that gets in through the small pores of the cork makes for just the right amount of oxygen to age your wine at a graceful pace. ^_^


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